We often hear that chewing gum is not the best, so I decided to dig deeper and get a better understanding of why.
What is Gum made of?
Most gum today is made out of gum base. This is a polymer, plasticizer, and resin mixture. It is combined with food-grade softeners, preservatives, sweeteners, colours, and flavourings. Gum is sometimes coated with a powdered or rigid polyol film.
Effects of chewing gum
- Gum, whether sugar-free or not contains artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to your health.
- Chewing gum can potentially cause mercury to be released from mercury amalgam fillings
- It can also lead to potential tooth decay
- Excessive chewing can cause jaw disorders
The majority of sugar-free gum contains aspartame which is a substitute for sugar. Furthermore, according to a recent study, this may help create formaldehyde in the body which is a type of carcinogen. Some people claim to have experienced side effects such as headaches, dizziness and mood swings after consuming this.
Mercury From Fillings
Chewing gum can allow mercury to be released into your body. This occurs if you have amalgam fillings that contain mercury as one of the ingredients. High levels of mercury in the body can cause psychiatric illnesses or neurological problems.
Chewing gum on a daily basis will wear the tooth enamel and shift the bite alignment. Specifically, the upper molars can spread apart, while the lower molars begin to move backward. This results in an overbite. Furthermore, if the enamel is left to wear down, the teeth can become sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks.
Temporomandibular Jaw Disorders
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is where your jawbone connects to your skull. TMJ conditions occur when the muscles of the joint become tired or unbalanced. While most gum chewing does not cause TMJ disorders, people who develop a habit of chewing gum on a regular basis may suffer muscle fatigue. Aggressive gum chewing or chewing on one side can also raise the risk of TMJ disorders.
Rather than using chewing gum to freshen your mouth, use mouthwash or brush your teeth. Make sure to remember our teeth are important and are the gateway to the rest of our body.